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Turning the Tassel: Lehman seniors persevere to graduate

By Megan Wehring

HAYS CISD — When Lehman High School announced that senior events were back on, the Class of 2021 saw a light at the end of a long road to graduation.

Lehman seniors can now look forward to several upcoming events: robing ceremony to thank their teachers, trip to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, awards ceremonies, an in-person graduation and walking down the halls at their elementary and/or middle school for the last time.

The Lehman senior officers reflected on their bittersweet, and strenuous at times, year of lasts.

While the Class of 2020 was the first group to graduate in a pandemic, Lehman class president Madyson Mireles said her senior class got the rawer deal.

“We [had]to fight way more,” Mireles reflected, “for [the district]to do the same things that they were doing for the Class of 2020.”

Mireles explained that people have almost normalized being in a pandemic, since it has been more than a year of COVID-19, and are less empathetic toward the seniors this year. She was also forced to prepare for SAT exams and college applications by herself.

Historian Abby Power agreed that the Class of 2021 has had to persevere even more.

“It’s just been slow and gradual,” Abby Power said. “We didn’t know how long it was going to be and it’s just the longer we went through this year, the more that was taken away.”

Hays CISD followed a pass/fail system in Spring 2020 but when the district decided to shift back to regular grading, students had to adjust quickly.

“People were caught off guard by that,” said secretary Emma Power. “It’s hard to motivate yourself when you are online and there are so many other distractions.”

Class vice president Jacob Vasquez, who is a virtual student, said he feels that the online instruction was subpar.

“I have not learned a thing over Zoom,” Vasquez confessed. “They are teaching you for the assignment and that’s it. I was looking forward to learning these hard classes like I’m taking AP calculus. I have not learned a single thing.”

Mireles, who is also a virtual student, said she misses the little moments of going to in-person school every day.

“I remember waking up early and going to first period,” Mireles said. That’s so unreal to me that I used to drive to school everyday and see people for seven hours. It’s crazy.”

Treasurer Madison Saucedo advises the next senior class to not take anything for granted.

“Even with our homecoming game,” Saucedo explained, “there were not that many people in the stands but we still did our mums and tried to have class spirit. Just try to have fun.”

Abby Power said that, despite all she has faced, her high school experiences taught her to be more resilient and proactive.

“We are going to struggle in life,” Abby Power said. “It may not be this bad, hopefully. We had to find our support systems ourselves. It wasn’t guaranteed by coming to class and having your best friend sitting next to you.”

All of the Lehman senior officers are planning for college.

Mireles will be heading to the University of Texas at Austin for a pre-law track.

Vasquez will be attending Texas State University to pursue a finance degree while also participating on the powerlifting team.

Saucedo will also be attending Texas State to pursue microbiology with a pre-med concentration.

Abby Power will study political science at Trinity University to eventually make it to law school .

Emma Power will also be attending Trinity to pursue international studies.

About Author

Megan Navarro (formerly Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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